After a thrilling game at the Al Thumama Stadium, the Atlas Lions of Morocco advanced to the semifinal stage of the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday. This victory continued their fairytale run in the tournament.
As a result, Morocco became the first African team to ever advance to the World Cup semifinals thanks to Youssef En-towering Yesri’s header in the 42nd minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced early in the second half, but despite setting a new record for most appearances, the 37-year-old was unable to save his team as his quest for the elusive World Cup trophy went up in flames once more.
Portugal and Morocco had very different fortunes going into Saturday’s semi-final match; the former had a crushing 6-1 victory over Switzerland, while the Lions had a narrow victory in a penalty shootout over Spain to advance.
Five minutes into the game, the Portuguese team took the initiative and nearly broke the scoreless tie.
Joao Felix, who was crouching, headed an excellent cross from the right flank toward goal, but Moroccan goalkeeper Bono was up to the task and prevented Portugal from taking the lead right away.
Hakim Ziyech’s cross was delivered to a leaping En-Nesyri during a quick counterattack by Morocco, but he was unable to keep the ball on target.
Morocco had to make do with defending and making sporadic counterattacks while Portugal dominated possession.
As the first half came to an end, Morocco’s magic moment occurred in the 42nd minute when En-Nesyri leaped into the air and headed past Costa, who had come out and was in no-land. man’s
Bruno Fernandes nearly gave Portugal an immediate equalizer, but his powerful shot hit the crossbar.
The Atlas Lions, who finished with 10 men, held on for a historic victory that has now advanced them into the semi-final, where they will play either France or England. The second half offered a few opportunities for both sides, with Ronaldo himself nearly scoring, but it was not to be.